• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

B-52 "replacement" from Airbus?

frank

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
May 20, 2006
Messages
617
Reaction score
13
Over the last couple of years, I've seen mention of an Airbus design intended as some sort of replacement for the B-52. Or something like that. Anyone know of any other details?
 

Antonio

ACCESS: Top Secret
Staff member
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Messages
3,463
Reaction score
194
Dear Friend,

You mean a European heavy bomber design to be flown by USAF?. Well it sounds almost unbelivable that USAF could rely in a foreign design for that role.

I imagine if that design existed could have been a derivative of Airbus airliner family in the same way Boeing based its Low-cost bomber proposal in the 767

Well I'm anxious to hear more about this Euro-bomber...
 

GTX

All hail the God of Frustration!!!
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2006
Messages
2,997
Reaction score
493
Website
beyondthesprues.com
Old topic, but I seem to recall seeing an artist's concept of an A340 bomber years ago. It was probably purely fictional, but would anyone still have a copy or know more?

Regards,

Greg
 

Jemiba

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
8,225
Reaction score
931
Do you mean this "design". It' from the a now defunct amsat.waika9.com site
 

Attachments

  • AMSAT-ESB-2.gif
    AMSAT-ESB-2.gif
    23.8 KB · Views: 687

Stargazer2006

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,235
Reaction score
454
Allow me to translate this for the non-francophones here (who should be the vast majority, I believe):
"European Strategic Bomber based on an A340/600 frame
This 001 version features retractable canards for take-off and landing"

You can notice that it says European, not American, so I really wonder where that B-52 replacement thing came from. Another urban legend, maybe?
 

TomS

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
4,290
Reaction score
1,245
Mistranslation and misinterpretation of remarks by Airbus and EADS senior officials back in early 2002, I suspect. It seems to run back to an article in Focus Nachrightmagazin

http://www.focus.de/finanzen/news/marktplatz-airbus-will-eigenen-bomber-bauen_aid_206527.html

Nach den Erfolgen im zivilen Bereich will Airbus nun am Markt für Militärflugzeuge kräftig mitmischen. Neben Transportern, Tankern und Aufklärungsflugzeugen hat der europäische Hersteller die veraltete Bomberflotte des Westens im Visier. „Wir planen ein Konkurrenzmodell zum amerikanischen B52-Bomber“, sagt Konzernchef Noel Forgeard. Die achtstrahlige Maschine, die in Zeiten des Kalten Krieges entwickelt wurde, kam auch in Afghanistan zum Einsatz. Sie fliegt 16 000 Kilometer weit und kann bis zu 50 Bomben mit jeweils über 200 Kilogramm Gewicht abwerfen.

Noch hat Airbus das Projekt „B52“ nicht offiziell gestartet. Deutsche Branchenkenner sind sich sicher, dass das multinationale Unternehmen das Geschäft mit einem Nachfolgemodell nicht allein den US-Herstellern überlässt. Schon heute bietet Airbus Industrie umgebaute Zivilmaschinen als fliegende Tanker an. Internationale Wehrexperten haben in den vergangenen Wochen mehrfach gefordert, dass das westliche Bündnis auch in Zukunft auf strategische Langstreckenbomber nicht verzichten dürfe.

My German is a bit rusty, but I'd translate this more or less as follows (with help from Google):

After success in the civilian field, Airbus is now hoping to push into the market for military aircraft. Besides transports, tankers and reconnaissance aircraft, the European manufacturer has the outdated Western bomber fleet in their sights. "We are planning a competing model to the American B52 bombers," says CEO Noel Forgeard. The aging machine, which was developed during the Cold War, was also used in Afghanistan. It flies 16,000 miles and can carry up to 50 bombs, each weighing more than 200 kilograms.

Still, Airbus has not officially launched a "B52" project. German industry experts are confident that the multinational business will not leave a successor model only to U.S. manufacturers. Today Airbus Industrie has rebuilt machines as civil airborne tankers. International defense experts have in recent weeks on several occasions requested that the Western alliance not ignore the future of long-haul strategic bombers.
 

AeroFranz

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
May 4, 2008
Messages
2,260
Reaction score
160
Jemiba said:
Do you mean this "design". It' from the a now defunct amsat.waika9.com site

It takes some imagination to see an A340 in there ??? maybe the fin is common...
 

Stargazer2006

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,235
Reaction score
454
Thanks Tom for clarifying this matter! Typically the kind of example that shows the limits of approximate translation...
 

Triton

Donald McKelvy
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
9,719
Reaction score
501
Website
deeptowild.blogspot.com
Flight Global broke the story on October 17, 2007 that the US Air Force Air Mobility Command (AMC) was looking at the Airbus A380 as a possible cargo freighter, possibly replacing the Lockheed C-5A, and a replacement for military aircraft based on the Boeing 747-200, most notably the presidential fleet. The article speculates that the US Navy might look at the A380 as a replacement for the E-4 Looking Glass.

On January 28, 2009, EADS announced that it would not bid for replacement aircraft for the presidential fleet.

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2007/10/17/218681/exclusive-us-considers-airbus-a380-as-air-force-one-and-potentially-a-c-5-replacement.html

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/01/28/airbus_out_of_air_force_one/

Supposedly, the electronic version of Jane's All the World's Aircraft, dated June 18, 2007, reported that EADS was working on developing a military version of the A380 known as the A380 MRTB (multi-role transport bomber) with an envisioned payload of 150 m/tons. I cannot verify this since the current Jane's entry for the A380 does not mention an A380 MRTB.

I have also heard that the French magazine Air & Cosmos ran an article about a military version of the A380 also known as the A380 MRTB (multi-role transport bomber) as an April Fool's Joke in April 2005.

The french weekly av-mag came up with a pretty looking realistic one.

They "revealed" the french airforce agreed to order the A380 MRTB. Based on the A380F, the MultiRoleTransportBomber double decker could carry either
- 150 tons/300,000 lbs of freight over 10,000 km/5,400 mls, or
- 100 tons/200,000 lbs over 16,000 km/8,640 mls or
- 600 fully equiped soldiers, whose seats were to be accomodated on pallets loadable thru the side cargo doors
For the bomber and tanker roles, the specially modified freight holds could accomodate
-a total 8 revolving barrels with 8 Scalp cruise missiles each or
-removable tanks and assorted flying boom.
In both cases, some of the transport capabilities could be retained with the possibilities to airlift support technical crews and sets of parts the way are done today with KC.10 Extenders.
What vented the prank
- the artist illustrations in the cover inset and in content renders a 3 tone-camouflaged 380, whereas the french airforce also goes Nato-Grey-low viz
- some evocative last names for people behind the project.
http://forums.jetphotos.net/archive/index.php/t-21820.html

Perhaps these stories and the April Fool's Joke served as the source for yet another story, or speculation, that the US Air Force was looking at the A380 as a bomber replacement for the B-52.
 

Jemiba

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
8,225
Reaction score
931
"It takes some imagination to see an A340 in there "

Really, you're quite right ! ;D

But the description says ".. basè dur une celleule de A340/600 ..", meaning to
my opinion : based on the fuselage of the A 340/600. And one circular fuselage
is more or less looking like another ...
 

pathology_doc

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Jun 7, 2008
Messages
960
Reaction score
172
Interesting wing design - are the inner control surfaces ailerons (flaperons?) with elevators on the rearmost extremities of the wing? Or is it flaps forward inner/elevons rear outer? Note the terminal trailing edge nature of the outer control surfaces, similar to the P1B/Lightning.

If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say not just the fuselage but the engines might be common too. Which reminds me: what does an IR missile see when it looks at a high-bypass-ratio airliner turbofan? What are the design/performance implications for large multi-engine bombers of the current run of fuel-efficient high-bypass turbofans in the 100,000lb thrust class? Could such an engine have afterburning added? Performance could be quite awesome. (Fuel consumption would be horrendous!)
 

Jemiba

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
8,225
Reaction score
931
Two more pictures I've saved from the mentioned site once ago.
 

Attachments

  • AMSAT-ESB-1.jpg
    AMSAT-ESB-1.jpg
    21.8 KB · Views: 601
  • AMSAT-ESB-3.jpg
    AMSAT-ESB-3.jpg
    12.1 KB · Views: 527

Stargazer2006

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,235
Reaction score
454
I do not know about this specific case, but you have to be aware that April Fool once was a pretty established tradition in some French aviation magazines, notably Le Fana. They no longer do it because it would make it harder for them to remain credible on a global scale, which they pretty much are... But I remember the time as a kid when my dad would laugh his ass off over the forgotten Klagenfürt Kf-??? prototype or the Exo-Seven T-6 floatplane version...

EDIT: forgot the word "French"... (excuse my French...)
 

GTX

All hail the God of Frustration!!!
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2006
Messages
2,997
Reaction score
493
Website
beyondthesprues.com
Jemiba said:
Do you mean this "design". It' from the a now defunct amsat.waika9.com site

No - the one I'm thinking of actually did look like a A340. It was still subsonic and kept the same wing etc as the conventional A-340. In essence once could almost say it was what the P-8A is to the 737 - i.e. it still looked like the A340 but was different. For instance, I seem to recall it having 2 weapons bays.

Regards,

Greg
 

PMN1

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
740
Reaction score
82
GTX said:
Old topic, but I seem to recall seeing an artist's concept of an A340 bomber years ago. It was probably purely fictional, but would anyone still have a copy or know more?

Regards,

Greg

Pahh, Vickers had already been there with the VC-10 - 64 x 1,000lb bombs in 8 eternal panniers.........
 

Vahe Demirjian

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Mar 1, 2013
Messages
618
Reaction score
276
It's possible that an A340 bomber derivative could have been intended as a successor to the Dassault Mirage IV, so the thread title could be changed. In any case, no West European country has a strategic bomber in the wings.
 

Wyvern

ACCESS: Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
388
Reaction score
333
I have several questions.

1. Was this project real?

2. If it was, was it really based off of the Airbus A340?

3.Was it capable of low-level penetration?

4. Does anybody have drawings or artwork of the Airbus A380 tranport/bomber aircraft?

Thanks in advance,

Wyvern
 

Grey Havoc

The path not taken.
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
11,774
Reaction score
1,911
In answer to your first question, the general concept appears to have at least existed as a study in the time range from early 2002 to around 2008. How far it got however, is open to debate.
 

CJGibson

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
May 26, 2011
Messages
1,431
Reaction score
649
A400 as an arsenal aircraft? There's a few studies from Woodford of the FLA carrying various cruise missiles/ASMs. A400 has the payload, altitude, speed and could be what Woodford called the MRSA multi role support aircraft. Pretty nippy at low level as well from what I've seen.

Chris
 

uk 75

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2006
Messages
2,632
Reaction score
1,241
The B52 is often used as a bomb truck against targets that have no airpower and little in the way of anti-aircraft weapons.
Could a small fleet of wide body airliners be converted to this role instead?
 

Zoo Tycoon

ACCESS: Secret
Senior Member
Joined
May 27, 2008
Messages
387
Reaction score
416
Civil airliners are the wrong architecture for simple conversion to bombers. A heavy load of weapons needs to be stored at the cg so they can be off-loaded without excessive pitch changes. So typically a bomber will have a centrally located weapons bay and the landing gear arranged so as to be clear, maybe units forward/aft or gears which fold forward or afterwards or LG well outboard on the wings. Civil aircraft typically fold the LG inboard across the center of the fuselage, covering exactly where the weapons bay would go.

I know the P8 has a bay aft of the central fuselage, but it’s tiny compared to any of what would be described as a bomber.

When A400m was considered for such role a conveyor system was proposed with weapons coming out the back of the aeroplane similar to airdropping freight. This is fair enough if the starting platform inherently has a rear loading ramp, but to shoe horn one of those into a civil platform really means start again. When the modifications get this deep an inappropriate starting position imposes constraints which become ever more pointless and expensive as development advances.
 

In_A_Dream

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Jun 3, 2019
Messages
191
Reaction score
71
Civil airliners are the wrong architecture for simple conversion to bombers. A heavy load of weapons needs to be stored at the cg so they can be off-loaded without excessive pitch changes. So typically a bomber will have a centrally located weapons bay and the landing gear arranged so as to be clear, maybe units forward/aft or gears which fold forward or afterwards or LG well outboard on the wings. Civil aircraft typically fold the LG inboard across the center of the fuselage, covering exactly where the weapons bay would go.

I know the P8 has a bay aft of the central fuselage, but it’s tiny compared to any of what would be described as a bomber.

When A400m was considered for such role a conveyor system was proposed with weapons coming out the back of the aeroplane similar to airdropping freight. This is fair enough if the starting platform inherently has a rear loading ramp, but to shoe horn one of those into a civil platform really means start again. When the modifications get this deep an inappropriate starting position imposes constraints which become ever more pointless and expensive as development advances.

Look how difficult it is to convert a 767 into an aerial refueler lol.
 

apparition13

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Jan 27, 2017
Messages
167
Reaction score
208
Look how difficult it is to convert a 767 into an aerial refueler lol.
On the one hand, funny. On the other, it worked pretty good on the VC10, DC10, and L1011. And the Iranians are still flying 747 conversions from the 70s. I think that may be more of an issue with Boeing getting managed into incompetence rather than a deficiency in the 767 as a tanker.
Civil airliners are the wrong architecture for simple conversion to bombers. A heavy load of weapons needs to be stored at the cg so they can be off-loaded without excessive pitch changes. So typically a bomber will have a centrally located weapons bay and the landing gear arranged so as to be clear, maybe units forward/aft or gears which fold forward or afterwards or LG well outboard on the wings. Civil aircraft typically fold the LG inboard across the center of the fuselage, covering exactly where the weapons bay would go.
Both the L1011 and DC10 cruise missile carrier design had ALCM launch bays forward and aft of the landing gear. As long as you alternate launching from each of the two bays CG problems should be alleviated.

 

TomcatViP

Hellcat
Joined
Feb 12, 2017
Messages
2,325
Reaction score
873
I disagree as rationally there are no modifications on the Nimrod that could not be replicated to others.

The extensive job done on the comet is only more visible to the naked eye.
Fitting a WB on the 737 must not have been much easier today (the P-8 has reinforced wing, increased skin thickness etc...).
 

Similar threads

Top